Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced on Monday that they are looking into allegations of corruption in the United Arab Emirates. The announcement comes roughly a month after the drugmaker was hit with a $489 million fine for corruption charges in China.
Reuters got wind of the corruption allegations through an anonymous email purportedly sent by a Glaxo sales manager in the UAE. The whistleblower claims that GSK made improper payments to hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and healthcare providers in an effort to get more business. The improper payments were made in the form of educational meetings – some of which may or may not have actually occurred – and schemes that paid customers for using GSK products by giving them extra over-the-counter products.
A GSK spokesman told the media that the British drugmaker is conducting its own internal investigation into the matter. GSK is currently under investigation for similar allegations in a number of other countries in the Middle East.
These investigations come at a time when American and British authorities are making a push to stop overseas corruption by international companies. French drugmaker, Sanofi, said the company has informed American officials of corruption allegations of its own in East Africa and the Middle East. Novartis, a Swiss company, is also facing kickback accusations in the U.S.